While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers

While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers

by William G. Howell, Jon C. Pevehouse
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691134626

ISBN-13: 9780691134628

Pub. Date: 08/06/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Nearly five hundred times in the past century, American presidents have deployed the nation's military abroad, on missions ranging from embassy evacuations to full-scale wars. The question of whether Congress has effectively limited the president's power to do so has generally met with a resounding "no." In While Dangers Gather, William Howell and Jon

Overview

Nearly five hundred times in the past century, American presidents have deployed the nation's military abroad, on missions ranging from embassy evacuations to full-scale wars. The question of whether Congress has effectively limited the president's power to do so has generally met with a resounding "no." In While Dangers Gather, William Howell and Jon Pevehouse reach a very different conclusion.

The authors—one an American politics scholar, the other an international relations scholar—provide the most comprehensive and compelling evidence to date on Congress's influence on presidential war powers. Their findings have profound implications for contemporary debates about war, presidential power, and Congress's constitutional obligations.

While devoting special attention to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this book systematically analyzes the last half-century of U.S. military policy. Among its conclusions: Presidents are systematically less likely to exercise military force when their partisan opponents retain control of Congress. The partisan composition of Congress, however, matters most for proposed deployments that are larger in size and directed at less strategically important locales. Moreover, congressional influence is often achieved not through bold legislative action but through public posturing—engaging the media, raising public concerns, and stirring domestic and international doubt about the United States' resolve to see a fight through to the end.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691134628
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/06/2007
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
7.19(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii
List of Tables ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xxv

Part One: Background and Theory 1

Chapter 1: Possibilities of Congressional Influence 3
Chapter 2: Conditions that Abet Congressional Influence 33

Part Two: Testing Claims about Congressional Influence 51

Chapter 3: Trends in Military Deployments 53
Chapter 4: Responding to "Opportunities" to Use Military Force (with Douglas L. Kriner) 75
Chapter 5: Studies in Domestic Politics and the Use of Force 114

Part Three: One Causal Pathway 153

Chapter 6: Congress and the Media (with Douglas L. Kriner) 155
Chapter 7: The Media and Public Opinion 192
Chapter 8: Conclusion 222

Appendix A: Tables Relating to Chapter 3 243
Appendix B: Text and Tables Relating to Chapter 4 245
Appendix C: Table Relating to Chapter 6 259
Appendix D: Table Relating to Chapter 7 260

Notes 263
References 307
Index 323

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